Gales Help Britain Set Wind Power Production Record

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Powerful gusts of wind sweeping across Britain helped the country set a new all-time high for electricity produced by wind turbines.

A new record was set in the early hours of Friday for the share of wind power in the production mix, with wind power supplying nearly two-thirds of Britain’s electricity, according to provisional data from National Grid.

Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., the wind contributed 62.5% to the British electricity mix, beating the previous record by 59.9% compared to August last year, when high winds from Storms Ellen and Francis hit the country.

As the windy weather rocked the UK there were several periods between 10pm Thursday evening and early Friday morning where the wind contributed over 60% for the first time.

The amount of wind-generated electricity in the UK hovered around 16.3 gigawatts on Friday, after reach a record 17.6 GW the public holiday in early May. So far this month, wind represents 18% of the electricity mix, below the 20% recorded in May of last year, but well above the levels seen in May in previous years.

The Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning for Wales and southern England through Friday, with the strongest winds expected in the southwest with gusts between 50-60 mph in the coastal areas and 45-50 mph inland. BBC Weather has warned of gusts of up to 78 mph.

New milestones for wind power generation have been reached several times over the past year. On Boxing Day, when Storm Bella brought gusts of up to 100 mph, the wind supplied 50.7% of Britain’s electricity, maintaining high levels for 24 hours.

2020 was the greenest year on record for the UK power system, when average carbon intensity – the measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity consumed – hit a new low, according to National Grid .

An independent climate think tank, Ember, said the UK’s renewable electricity surpassed fossil fuel production for the first time last year and may remain the largest source of electricity in the UK. to come up. He found that renewable energy generated by wind, sunlight, water and wood made up 42% of UK electricity last year, compared to 41% generated by gas-fired power plants and coal together.

The UK is also on track for its wettest May on record after a very dry April, with more heavy and forecasted rains this weekend, while strong winds are expected to ease on Saturday.


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